It is an astonishing animation, letting you travel through the solar system at the speed of light.
Riding Light is a 45-minute short film that attempts to recreate what it would be like to hitch a ride on the back of a photon.
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The real-time video allows viewers to travel from the core of the sun to beyond the orbit of Jupiter.
Although the video does not address how we would even perceive light and time if we were traveling at the same speed, it does use accurate distances and speeds to convey how big our solar system really is.
In our terrestrial view of things, the speed of light seems incredibly fast. But as soon as you view it against the vast distances of the universe, it’s unfortunately very slow.
This animation illustrates, in real-time, the journey of a photon of light emitted from the surface of the sun and traveling across a portion of the solar system, from a human perspective.
I’ve taken liberties with certain things like the alignment of planets and asteroids, as well as ignoring the laws of relativity concerning what a photon actually “sees” or how time is experienced at the speed of light, but overall I’ve kept the size and distances of all the objects as accurate as possible.
I also decided to end the animation just past Jupiter as I wanted to keep the running length below an hour.